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Jennifer Aniston nixed ‘Morning Show’ intimacy coordinator

Jennifer Aniston insists her steamy sex scene with Jon Hamm was filmed sans intimacy coordinator. Why? Because “it’s awkward enough!,” she said.

“The Morning Show” made headlines in the fall when the sixth episode of Season 3 dropped and Aniston and Hamm got very tangled up in the sheets. Their characters’ sexual tension had been building all season, and viewers saw the two seal the deal in a scene that director Mimi Leder described as “this physical attraction that takes over.”

The Apple TV+ series’ stars Aniston and Reese Witherspoon reflected on the scene in an interview published Monday; Variety called the love scene more “explicit” than fans of the show are used to seeing. But, Witherspoon countered, she “didn’t think it was explicit.”

Aniston said having “The Morning Show” director and co-executive producer, Leder, on set made her feel protected.

“I never felt uncomfortable,” Aniston told the outlet. “Jon was such a gentleman, always — I mean every move, every cut, ‘You OK?’ It was also very choreographed. That’s the beauty of Mimi and our gorgeous editor, the music and lighting. So, you don’t prepare.”

According to the “Friends” alum, the production team asked the actors if they wanted an intimacy coordinator, but Aniston said she wasn’t familiar with the role of the person, who serves as an on-set advocate and liaison between actors and the production team to ensure that actors and crew members adhere to proper safety protocols. (The SAG-AFTRA professional also fosters an environment in which actors understand what is expected of them in hyper-exposed scenes and enables them to give their informed and continued consent.)

“I’m from the olden days, so I was like, ‘What does that mean?’” Aniston, 54, told Variety. “They said, ‘Where someone asks you if you’re OK,’ and I’m like, ‘Please, this is awkward enough!’ We’re seasoned — we can figure this one out. And we had Mimi there.”

“I’ve known the Hammanator for a long, long time,” she also noted in the interview.

Leder spoke with the outlet in October when the internet was initially buzzing over seeing Aniston and Ham in the buff.

“This is a mutual, genuine affection,” Leder said of the actors’ characters, Alex and Paul. “And that’s why we chose not to do the rip-your-clothes-off sex scene. It was looking into each other’s eyes, finding the tender center of the scene. That first, deep emotional connection. Two people caught up in each other, taken away by the moment.”

“It was a closed set, and [with] two very grown-up actors who really understood the nature of the storytelling and were very much a part of it,” Leder added. “We wanted it to be sensitive. We wanted it to be sexy. We wanted it to be adult. We wanted it to be emotional. They really let go. They’re great actors. And there you have it.”

According to co-executive producer Kristin Hahn, it was Aniston who insisted that Hamm get the role.

“Who would play Paul was a list of one,” Hahn told the Hollywood Reporter in September. “Jen and Jon have been friendly for years and have wanted to work together I think for a while. So when Paul Marks became a part of the conversation, it was a list of one. And so it was a little scary because if he had said no, I don’t know what we would have done. It was this or bust. Thankfully, he said yes.”


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